Toward A Nerve-Gas Arms Race

The U.S. takes up a chemical "deterrent"

Even in a world swollen with weapons, chemical arms remain among the most horrible agents of war. Contact with one droplet of nerve gas can send a person into sweats and uncontrollable vomiting, followed by paralysis and death by asphyxiation. The chlorine and "mustard" gases used by Germany during World War I were considered so monstrous that in 1925 the world's major nations drew up an international protocol to ban their use. In 1969 Richard Nixon unilaterally halted U.S. production of chemical weapons, calling their use "repugnant to the conscience of mankind."

Last month, for the first time since Nixon issued...

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